You & Green Tea - Why You Make the Perfect Matcha
My goal this summer was to perfect the iced matcha latte. Which got me thinking – what do I really know about matcha green tea, besides the fact that it tastes delicious?!
What is matcha?
Matcha green tea is more than a new fad super food. A staple in Japanese tradition, the drink is derived from the young leaves of the camellia sinensis plant (the same plant brewed green tea comes from). The leaves are nutrient dense and once stone ground becomes the highest quality green tea available.
What is in matcha?
Think of matcha as concentrated green tea. Three main constituents are L-theanine, EGCG and caffeine, as well as many other antioxidants. The amino acid L-theanine promotes relaxation without drowsiness. It also enhances mood, concentration and memory by increasing dopamine and serotonin production. EGCG makes up 60% of matcha’s antioxidant powers and is known for its cancer fighting properties. Caffeine, well we know what caffeine does…
One cup of matcha tea has the equivalent antioxidant content of 10 cups of brewed green tea.
What is the research saying?
Previous research on tea constituents’ caffeine, L-theanine, and EGCG repetitively show benefits on mood and cognitive performance. Research on specifically matcha also looks promising. Studies done in mice and rats have demonstrated antioxidant properties, decreases in lipid and glucose levels, and a decrease in kidney and liver damage.
One small study from 2017 found that participants who consumed either matcha tea or a snack containing matcha had improvement in basic attention and speed of attention. Another study found L-theanine improved self reported relaxation, tension and calmness, and when combined with caffeine improved performance in alertness and attention switching (hello multitasking!).
Although more research is needed, matcha may also help strengthen the immune system, improve cholesterol, assist with cancer prevention, help with weight loss and support detoxification.
Give it a try!
While matcha drinks are readily available at many coffee shops, be weary of the sugar content when ordering your new favourite beverage. For example, a tall green tea latte from Starbucks has approximately 24g of sugar. Matcha lattes can easily be made at home, with a few simple ingredients, and less sugar. Let me be honest- it has taken me at least 10 attempts to find the perfect matcha combination, so don’t give up! Check out this recipe here or let us know your go to recipe!
- Dietz C, Dekker M, Piqueras-Fiszman B (2017). An intervention study on the effects of matcha tea, in drink and snack bar formats, on mood and cognitive performance. Food Res Int. 99(1) 72-83.
-Dietz C, Dekker M (2017). Effect of green tea phytochemicals on mood and cognition. Curr Pharm Des. 23(19) 2876-2905.
-Natural Living Ideas. 10 amazing benefits of matcha green tea. Found at: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/10-amazing-benefits-of-matcha-green-tea/